Harry Reid Pulls Omnibus Spending Bill Amid GOP Opposition
Faced with the prospect of a near-crippling procedural delay, Senate Democrats have pulled a $ 1 trillion spending package from the Senate in favor of another Continuing Resolution:
Senate Democrats have given up on their plan to pass a $1.1 trillion omnibus spending bill in the face of unified Republican opposition.
The bill’s collapse will take with it more than 6,000 earmarks as well as more than $1 billion in funding for implementation of healthcare reform.
Democrats will move instead to two high priorities on their legislative agenda: the DREAM Act, which would grant permanent legal residency to illegal immigrants under a certain age, and a repeal of the military’s “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy.
Democrats say that nine Senate Republicans had pledged to back the bill but withdrew their support at the last moment under heavy pressure from their GOP colleagues.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) emphasized that Republicans helped put the bill together although they distanced themselves from it in recent days. He noted that Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Dan Inouye (D-Hawaii) and Sen. Thad Cochran (Miss.), the ranking Republican on the panel, worked closely together on the bill.
“Though some of my Republican colleagues in recent days have publicly distanced themselves from the idea that [their] members have a role to play in the appropriations process, nearly all of them did nothing privately to withdraw their priorities from this bill,” Reid said on the floor Thursday evening.
So, once again, the Senate Republicans have shown us that being in the minority doesn’t necessarily mean you’re out of power.